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Bristol Dinosaur Project

Bristol's very own dinosaur, Thecodontosaurus, was found in 1834, and b=named in 1836 - only the fourth dinosaur every named from anywhere in the world. Now, something like 1000 species of dinosaurs have been named, but the story began all those years ago,in Bristol. And we are still learning new things about the Bristol dinosaur.

When the Bristol dinosaur was alive, 200 million years ago, Bristol, and England more widely lay in tropical latitudes. These small dinosaurs, wandered from island to island in a tropical limestone archipelago, something like the Florida coastline today. During the rainy season, dead bodies of dinosaurs, lizards, and mammals were washed along the rivers and some of them entered caves in the limestone. This is where the fossils are found today, trapped in ancient cave systems in and around Bristol and South Wales.

Scientists and students at the University of Bristol bring the Bristol dinosaur to life with school visits. Thousands of local children have encountered the dinosaur, and learned about some key science themes such as deep time, continental drift, geology, and evolution. It's free, and we can visit your school any time. If you are a teacher, a parent, or a school pupil, find out more and book a visit here.

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Our partners

The Bristol Dinosaur Project, initiated in 1999, has received crucial support from a variety of sources including the University of Bristol, the Leverhulme Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Bristol City Museum, the Bristol Alumni Foundation, and many more.

Thecodontosaurus illustration courtesy of Richard Deasey.
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Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Wills Memorial Building, Queen's Road, Bristol, UK BS8 1RJ
Tel: +44 117 9545400  Fax: +44 117 9253385  Email:  Web: